I received a quick e-mail from Brad yesterday, helping me locate him on the Te Araroa Trail. The first pinpoint after Auckland -- Cleavedon, SE of Auckland.
This photo represents another one of those "really?" moments that such wild jungle can exist so close to populated areas.
Brad then hiked SW, passing over Mt. Pirongia, which looks wonderfully interesting with lots of plants I've never heard of, as well as animals.
Te Kuiti, meaning "The Valley", is directly South of Mt. Pirongia where he e-mailed me from the library. This is the first contact in ten days. I've estimated that he is approximately 150 to 200 miles South of Auckland, but who knows how the trail curves, goes up and down, or provides challenges of water crossings or detours. It's all guess work on my part. Doesn't this town of Te Kuiti, shown in running of the sheep photo below, look a bit like our home town of Langley on Whidbey Island?
I don't know if Brad did a tour but he did mention that this area is home of the Glow Worm Caves. This tubing video shows some fabulous scenes in and around Glow Worm Caves. Te Kuiti has other claims to fame, not the least of which, is supporting Te Araroa Trail hikers with such things as stream crossings.
Brad sent no new pictures or YouTube videos and did not update his blog. From his message it sounded like he lacked computer time. He estimates he'll be in another town in about five days.